Congratulations to Pat Lewis, our April Volunteer of the Month! Pat is a fantastic volunteer and has been instrumental in raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association® through the Williamsburg Walk to End Alzheimer’s® and volunteering as a facilitator for our early-stage support groups.
When Pat moved back to the area from northern California in 2009, she temporarily lived with a friend in the Port Warwick neighborhood in Newport News. Watching purple-clad participants of that year’s Peninsula Walk from her bedroom window was her first brush with the chapter. Pat retired from Anheuser Busch in late 2011 after 21 years with the company working in various positions within the Operations and People Departments.
Pat became a walk participant and volunteer in the fall of 2013 after losing her uncle, who had been a caregiver for her aunt who had Alzheimer’s. Because of her family’s experience and loss, Pat reached out to the Williamsburg office looking for an opportunity to help other families living with Alzheimer’s. She was the sole member of her walk team that year and still remembers the inspiring sense of hope and commitment shared by participants. In addition to beginning her association with the Alzheimer’s Association in 2013, Pat entered the College of William and Mary where she pursued a Masters in Community and Addictions Counseling. While in graduate school, Pat served as a facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association early stage support group in Williamsburg. It was the privilege of getting to know these courageous men and women living with this disease every day with strength and integrity increased her belief that “the End of Alzheimer’s begins with me” enough to overcome her insecurities about asking others to help and contribute. In 2014 Pat became the logistics chair for the Williamsburg Walk and continued in the role until 2017 when she took the reigns as Volunteer Event Chair. Pat’s leadership led the Williamsburg Walk to one of its most successful years, with over 800 participants raising close to $154,000!
After graduating in May 2015, Pat worked as a mental health and substance abuse counselor at a local community services board. Normally always on the go, you would be hard-pressed to find Pat relaxing. In her spare time, she does love to garden and work outdoors. In her own words, “nothing is more therapeutic than putting your fingers in the dirt”. Pat also enjoys reading and is a big history buff, planning to visit all the James River plantations this year.
We are so fortunate to have Pat as a dedicated volunteer with our Chapter! To learn more about how you can volunteer, please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp